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Find the best renters insurance in California based on customer service & discounts. Also, get the cost by state and city and check how much insurance do you need.

According to the latest Census Bureau findings, there are over 39.5 million residents in California — and almost half (45.2%) are renters. Although renters insurance in California isn’t mandatory, having coverage could be a lifesaver in case of a burglary, fire, or another unforeseen event. Also, renters insurance is relatively cheap in California, you can consider the average cost of renters insurance is $22 per month which is lower than the national average.

Best renters insurance California

There are dozens of insurance companies offering renters insurance in California. We evaluated the largest carriers to find the best renters insurance California companies. Using criteria such as customer ratings from J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of renters insurance in California and the number of policy options to bring you the best cheap renters insurance California carriers. They are:

  • Best overall: State Farm
  • Best for customer service: Allstate
  • Best for discounts: Liberty Mutual
  • Best renters insurance company for coastal/hurricane/earthquake claims: Farmers
  • Best for bundling renters and auto insurance: Nationwide
  • Best renters insurance with perks: CSAA/Auto Club
  • Best online insurance: Lemonade
  • Best military renters insurance: USAA
CompanyBest forCalifornia market shareJ.D. Power ratingNAIC complaintsAM Best financial strength ratingOnline quote tool
State FarmRenters overall17.57%836/1,0001.50 (above average)AYes
AllstateCustomer satisfaction15.43%841/1,0000.28 (below average)A+Yes
Liberty MutualMost discounts6.38%825/1,0001.85 (above average)AYes
FarmersHurricane and earthquake coverage15.43%839/1,0001.89 (above average)B++Yes
NationwideBundling auto and renters insurance4.06%831/1,0001.316 (above average)A+Yes
CSAA/Auto ClubAdditional services12.02% combined805 and 837/1,00010.08 (above average)A+Yes
LemonadeOnline insurance-866/1,0002.04 (above average)N/AYes
USAAMilitary5.73%888/1,0001.87 (above average)A++Yes

State Farm: Best renters insurance company overall

State Farm is the largest insurance carrier in the state. It earns the top ranking because of a combination of factors. A strong financial rating means the insurer is capable of paying claims out. State Farm ranks in the top 10 for renters insurance of the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study. And to top it off, Insurance.com found that the carrier has the second-cheapest renters insurance California rates. The average premium is $177 per year for $40,000 in coverage with a $1,000 deductible and a $100,0000 liability limit.

Pros:

  • Local agents and offices
  • Affordable rates
  • Several add-ons for further customization
  • Robust mobile app
  • File a claim through an agent, over the phone, online or through the mobile app
  • Earthquake damage coverage available

Cons:

  • Above-average complaints, according to the NAIC
  • Limited discounts available

Special coverages:

  • Additional business property
  • Additional liability limits
  • Earthquake damage
  • Identity theft restoration
  • Incidental business liability
  • Pet medical

Allstate: Best for customer service

If you’re in search of good customer support when you have a question or have a claim to file, Allstate is a solid carrier. Respondents in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study awarded Allstate with high ratings for claims, communications and overall service. 

Pros:

  • High customer satisfaction ratings
  • Senior and retirement discounts
  • Agents in 350 California cities
  • File a claim through an agent, over the phone, online or through the mobile app
  • Flood insurance available

Cons:

  • Limited optional coverages
  • Few discounts available

Special coverages:

  • Flood insurance
  • Identity theft restoration
  • Personal umbrella policy
  • Scheduled personal property coverage for high-value items

Liberty Mutual: Best for discounts

You can lower your premiums when you take advantage of the discounts carriers have to offer. Most insurers only offer a couple of discounts but Liberty Mutual has five: claims-free, early shopper, multi-policy, preferred payment and online purchase. In addition to the carrier discounts, Liberty Mutual has thousands of affinity discounts available for certain workplaces, members of organizations and more.

Pros:

  • File claims online, over the phone or through the mobile app
  • More company and affinity discounts available than average
  • App is Alexa skill compatible

Cons:

  • Limited number of local agents
  • Higher customer complaints than average

Special coverages:

  • Earthquake
  • Jewelry
  • Replacement cost
  • Scheduled personal property

Farmers: Best renters insurance company for coastal/hurricane/earthquake claims

Renters of coastal homes or those who worry about earthquakes or flooding could save time and money by getting coverages for non-included perils from the same provider. Not every carrier offers flooding and earthquake insurance since FEMA provides government-sponsored coverage. Farmers Insurance gives renters the option of buying earthquake damage insurance and/or flooding to add protection for personal property.

Pros:

  • Agents and offices throughout the state
  • Flood and earthquake coverage available
  • Non-smoking household discount
  • Robust mobile app includes claims-filing

Cons:

  • Above-average complaints
  • Lowest financial strength rating of the top carriers

Special coverages:

  • Identity shield
  • Replacement cost

Nationwide:Best for bundling renters and auto insurance

If you’re in search of the cheapest California renters insurance, bundling your car and rental insurance with the same carrier could bring you significant savings. Nationwide offers such a multi-policy discount. Add other vehicles, such as watercraft, motorcycles or RVs for additional savings. In addition to the many discounts available, Nationwide provides renters unique coverages such as theft extension and water backup.

Pros:

  • Several optional coverages available
  • Free On Your side review by a Nationwide agent is available to help you understand and maximize your coverage
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • File a claim online, through the app or over the phone
  • Discount for protective devices such as smoke detectors or security systems
  • Credit card coverage for unauthorized transactions included in a standard policy

Cons:

  • The mobile app can be glitchy
  • Above-average customer complaints

Special coverages:

  • Replacement cost
  • Valuable Plus for higher-value items
  • Water backup
  • Earthquake
  • Theft extension coverage includes belongings stolen from your vehicles,watercraft or trailers

CSAA/Auto Club: Best renters insurance with perks

AAA in California is divided into two providers: CSAA for Northern California and Auto Club for Southern California. To access AAA’s renters insurance, you’ll need to pay between $53 and $119 for one of the three levels of membership. However, the membership fee comes with additional perks besides affordable renters insurance. You’ll get roadside assistance for your vehicle, travel assistance and member-exclusive discounts that will likely offset the annual membership fee.

Pros:

  • Comes with perks such as shopping discounts as well as travel and roadside assistance
  • Free policy review available
  • Reputable insurance name
  • Mature member discount

Cons:

  • Mobile app has limited renters insurance functionality 
  • Requires a membership fee to access insurance
  • Limited options and endorsements

Lemonade: Best online insurance

Lemonade is disrupting home and renters insurance by providing online-only coverage that’s powered by artificial intelligence. The bulk of the premium you pay goes into a shared pool to payout claims. Whatever is left at the end of the year goes towards the charity of your choice. Customer reviews are mostly positive, especially when it comes to the speed of claims payouts.

Pros:

  • Property coverage extends outside of the home
  • Earthquake insurance available
  • Claims are often paid in minutes
  • Adding Extra Coverage comes with deductible-free claims
  • Jewelry coverage of up to $1,500 is higher than the typical $1,000 limit

Cons:

  • No local agents or offices
  • Some common dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Huskies are considered aggressive and aren’t covered

Special coverages:

  • Earthquake
  • Big-ticket items
  • Extra Coverage adds worldwide accidental loss, damage, and theft for named items;

USAA: Best military renters insurance

USAA has the cheapest renters insurance California premiums and the highest customer satisfaction ratings of all carriers for California renters insurance. What’s most impressive is, the low rate includes flood and earthquake coverages, which are typically standalone and cost-prohibitive. USAA didn’t get the honor of best renters insurance company overall because it’s not available to everyone. To access the high level of coverage and customer care, you’ll need to qualify for membership by being military personnel or related to someone who is or was.

Pros:

  • Award-winning customer service
  • Cheapest renters insurance in California
  • Includes flood and earthquake insurance for free
  • Military-friendly coverage
  • Free membership
  • Exclusive retail, insurance and banking discounts
  • Feature-packed mobile app allows you to file claims

Cons:

  • Only available to veterans, military personnel and family
  • Customer service only available online, through the mobile app or over the phone

Special coverages:

  • Replacement cost

Renters insurance cost in California

If you’re looking for how much is renters insurance in California, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that renters insurance in California is relatively cheap. Insurance.com’s rate analysis found that the average national price is $326 per year. The average cost of renters insurance in California is $260 annually, lower than the national average.

Breaking down the annual rate adds up to about $22 per month. Compare that to the cost to replace your computer, TV and clothing if someone breaks into your rental or you lose your belongings in a fire. Roughly $22 per month gives you peace of mind knowing you have some financial protection if something goes wrong.

Renters insurance cost in California by city

Below you'll see the average renters insurance rate in California's largest cities. To see the average price for renters insurance by ZIP code for nearly every neighborhood in the state, visit our renters insurance guide and use the average renters rate calculator. It also shows renters insurance rates for several renters insurance coverage options.

CityAverage rate yearlyMonthly
San Diego$213$18
Anaheim$235$20
Bakersfield$246$21
Fresno$263$22
Sacramento$280$23
Long Beach$283$24
San Jose$289$24
San Francisco$302$25
Los Angeles$333$28
Oakland$343$29

Which companies provide cheap renters insurance in California?

If you’re cost-conscious, finding the lowest-cost renter’s coverage is likely a top priority. To identify the cheapest renters insurance companies, Insurance.com analyzed rates for nearly all ZIP codes in the state. The renter profile is a married, 35-year-old who has filed no claims in five years. Coverage includes medical payments coverage of $5,000, contents replacement at replacement value and loss of use at 10% of personal property limit.

 The following carriers have the cheapest renters insurance California costs for one year, based on $40,000 in property coverage and $100,000 liability, with a $1,000 deductible.

Cheapest renters insurance California cost

CompanyAverage annual rate
USAA$169
State Farm$177
Interinsurance Exchange Of The Automobile Club$183
Safeco$186
Garrison$191
Travelers$197
Farmers$198
Fire Insurance Exchange$210
Allstate$255
CSAA Insurance Exchange$261
Nationwide$301
Crestbrook$933

Keep in mind that USAA, CSAA and Automobile Club all require membership to qualify for coverage. USAA membership is free but only available to veterans, retired and active-duty military personnel and close family members. AAA is available to all California residents willing to pay an annual membership fee of $53 to $119, dispensing on the level of membership you choose. The cost of AAA membership may price out coverage unless you’re already a member. 

How to find cheap renters insurance California

There are other ways you can save on the cost of California renters insurance, regardless of what carrier you choose. Here are some ways to find affordable renters insurance coverage:

Raise your deductible

A higher deductible could lower renters insurance rate. The standard deductible is typically $500 or $1,000. If you can afford to raise the amount, the savings could pay off in the long term. Just remember that if you need to file a claim, you’ll have to pay the deductible out of pocket before your insurer steps in to cover the remainder. 

Bundle California renters insurance with other coverage

Buying a car and renters insurance policy with the same insurance company can help you save on both types of

coverage. Nearly every carrier offers a discount, often known as a bundling or multiline discount.

Add a security system

The latest smart home cameras and security systems are easy to install yourself. Best of all, you could earn a discount, and lower the cost of renters insurance.

Shop around

Although our research on renters insurance California cost is comprehensive, there are many factors that could affect the cost of your insurance, such as ZIP code, history of claims, amount of coverage, quality of your rental home and number of security enhancements. Getting an insurance quote from at least three insurance companies to compare is the best way to find the cheapest renters insurance in California.

How much renters insurance do I need?

In case of a claim, any renters insurance is better than none at all. A few things to consider when deciding how much renters insurance you need are:

  • Actual cash value vs. replacement cost: Replacement cost coverage will pay to replace your property with a new version. Actual cash value (ACV) deducts the age and condition of the item from the amount you’ll receive. Replacement cost is ideal but is typically more expensive than ACV.
  • Earthquake damage coverage: California is at risk for earthquakes. If your property is lost due to the peril, a standard renters insurance policy will not pay for the loss. You could add earthquake damage coverage to your California renters insurance, although it may raise your premiums significantly. 
  • Limits: To find the amount you’ll need for property coverage, take an inventory of your belongings to estimate your property limits. As for liability insurance, the coverage pays for legal-related bills. Considering how expensive legal fees and judgments are, liability insurance of at least $100,000 is a good idea.
  • High-value items: Most renters insurance policies have limits on personal property coverage for certain items such as jewelry and collectibles. You can buy scheduled personal property coverage for items with a value over $1,000.

Frequently asked questions about renters insurance

Is renters insurance required in California?

Renters insurance is not required by the state of California. However, coverage is low-cost. The average monthly premium for renters insurance in California is roughly $22 per month.

Your belongings will be insured against loss or damage, in addition to financial protection if a guest is injured while visiting you.

Can a landlord require renters insurance in California?

Landlords normally have coverage for the rental property’s structure. However, some owners may require tenants to have renters insurance as a lease condition, although the requirement isn’t typical.

Does landlord insurance cover my belongings?

If your personal belongings, such as furniture, clothing and electronics, are lost or damaged, a landlord’s insurance will not pay for the damages. A renters insurance policy is the only kind of coverage that will reimburse you to replace or repair your rental’s belongings, up to your coverage limits.

What is medical payments to others?

The liability coverage on your insurance policy also offers no-fault medical coverage. This is also called "medical payments to others."This coverage kicks in if someone is hurt in the place you rent and needs medical care, as it helps pay for their medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

"If someone gets hurt in your home, he or she can submit medical bills directly to your insurance company,” says Angi Orbann, vice president of property, personal insurance property at Travelers. “This way, expenses can be paid without a liability claim being filed against the renter. It should be noted that this coverage does not pay the medical bills for the renter's own family."

Typically, insurance coverage amounts are between $1,000 and $5,000, says the Insurance Information Institute. Again, this medical coverage applies to the treatments of others, not yourself.

Does renters insurance cover loss of use?

Yes, your renters policy covers additional living expenses up to your coverage limits. Let's say there is fire or water damage to your apartment from a burst pipe. If your home is uninhabitable due to a covered claim , your insurance company will provide reasonable accommodations and covers these related expenses until you can move back into your home.